BYPASS HARBOUR BRIDGE STEPS WITH A RAMP & INVEST IN OFF-THE-ROAD CYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE
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Cycling has been largely neglected as a major form of Government funded travel. While massive amounts of money are poured into roads and freeways encouraging more people to drive cars, this is not matched by OFF-the-road cycleway and shared user pathway funding.
The Berejiklian Government is spending billions knocking down stadiums and building new roads and the metro, so why are they spending a pittance on OFF-the-road cycling infrastructure? Is it because they fear too much money would be lost through reduced petrol taxes if more people ride bikes? Or is it because revenue from train fares and future metro fares may be depleted? One is left to wonder….
It’s a no brainer for the Government to build OFF-the-road cycleways and Shared User Pathways [SUPs], to encourage more people to cycle and reduce Sydney’s chronic and ever increasing traffic congestion, along with the need for more and more car parks. Cycling is fast becoming the most reliable and quickest way to get to short distance locations in Sydney. However most residents will not ride bikes if they are forced to ride on the road. Who can blame them?
We urge the government to immediately invest substantially in OFF-the-road cycling infrastructure to allow residents to be less dependent on the car for all local journeys – to shops, sports venues, railway stations, ferries, and weekend recreation; to encourage commuter cycling and longer distance recreational cycling; and to allow children to ride safely to school.
SPECIFICALLY WE IMPLORE THE INCOMING STATE GOVERNMENT TO:
1. Commence construction of cycling ramps on the North Sydney side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, so the existing steps can be bypassed and the Harbour Bridge Cycleway can finally be linked to the Cycleway alongside the Gore Hill Freeway.
The existing steps are an obstacle that make it very difficult for families with young children, cyclists on heavy e-bikes, the elderly and bike trailers. As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on 21st March 2018: “About 2000 cyclists traverse the 86-year-old bridge every day, making it one of Sydney's busiest cycling routes. However, the lack of ramp access at the northern end of the famed coathanger has long frustrated cyclists.” Even more people would ride to and from the CBD if the steps were bypassed and cyclists didn’t have to navigate the maze of streets and footpaths through North Sydney.
2. Construct shared user pathways [SUPs] or separated OFF-the-road cycleway infrastructure to ALL proposed metro and existing train stations.
3. Replace narrow footpaths that lead directly to schools, with SUPs [shared user pathways], thereby making it safer for children & accompanying parents to ride to and from school.
4. Provide immediate funding to widen the narrow, hazardous footpath along River Road [in Greenwich] at the cliff, a mere 200 metres from Greenwich Public School, to a SUP. The pinch-point makes this arguably one of the most dangerous footpaths in Sydney. [See You-Tube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-S3hO10gEQ&feature=youtu.be ]
5. Provide substantially increased funding for each Council in Sydney so they can invest in a network of SUPs and separated OFF-the-road cycleways, which will encourage residents to cycle to key destinations without being dependent on the car or trapped in traffic congestion.
The benefits of cycling are well documented - kids can ride to school taking countless cars off road at peak times; people can ride to work reducing chronic peak hour traffic, bus and train congestion; the population becomes more healthy with reduced burden of obesity, living longer, with less hospitalisation expenses; tax payers money is well spent, because less money is needed for health and car parks; motorists benefit through less congestion and less road rage; and the list goes on.... Escalating traffic congestion through the influx of high rise development is the scourge of the massive population growth of Sydney. For most people, riding on the roads is a recipe for suicide. OFF-the-road infrastructure is urgently needed to encourage more people to ride bikes and scooters.
We ask the incoming Government to act IMMEDIATELY and prioritise funding for OFF-the-road cycling infrastructure, which is absolutely essential for the safety and wellbeing of the residents of Sydney.
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